Creating Recipes in Beersmith for the Grainfather

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Creating Recipes in Beersmith for the Grainfather

Post by PeeBee » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:50 pm

I started this topic some days ago, but the thread quickly degenerated into a bit of a disaster. So the thread had to be removed and I went away to see what could be done with the remnants. Here is the result.

Sorry, but it has developed into a quite monstrous article! A two part online file: Part 1 covers setting up Beersmith, and Part 2 (optional) covers Grainfather software and an extreme use example.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11engfV ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ISrSYl ... sp=sharing

Using Grainfather Connect is optional. The Beersmith output can be manually keyed into the Grainfather controller, which is what I was doing before the original thread forced me to look closer at Grainfather Connect (so at least I gained something from the aborted original thread).

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Re: Creating Recipes in Beersmith for the Grainfather

Post by PeeBee » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:50 pm

To illustrate what is being pursued: The following are mash details for a recipe in Beersmith...
1 Beersmith New Recipe - Mash.JPG
How this translates to Grainfather Connect and how that appears on the Grainfather controller...
2 Screenshot_20190203-162420_GFConnect  plus  3 20190130_184036_WEB opaque.png
The next illustration has Grainfather Connect geared up for a "full boil mash" to emulate a BIAB setup (note zero sparge) - something I use for "low-alcohol" beer brewing.
4 Screenshot_20190207-113919_GFConnect.jpg

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Strike Temperature

Post by PeeBee » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:07 pm

(EDIT 19/02/2019: This "modification" has now been edited into the original linked documents found in the OP).

A small modification...

This is very optional. I just like being tidy!

I wasn't happy that changing "global options" would alter the calculated strike temperature in all my past logged recipes too. I wasn't happy that if I wanted to use "strike temperature" with the Grainfather I'd have to do a bit of phaffing about (not much, but all the same...). I wasn't happy that having bought this great bit of kit (the Grainfather) I'd be steered towards not bothering with "strike temperature". I'll accept that with recirculating mash systems it doesn't make any difference (initially heating to mash temperature, not strike) but decades of home-brewing means I still want to use strike temperature (old dogs, new tricks, and all that). So I devised a work around with the profiles illustrated earlier.

In Beersmith open the Grainfather mash profile (menu bar, "profiles"). Add a "mash step". I name it "1-Strike (ambient 17C)" and the "type" is "infusion". I'll come back to why I include "ambient temperature" in the name later. Its "step temperature" is the same as the mash temperature in the "saccharification" step. The "rise time" is zero and the "step time" 1 (Grainfather complains at anything less). OK to save. Move it to the top of the list with "Move Step Up". Open it to edit again. The "water/grain ratio" is 2.7. OK to save.

Open the next step ("Saccharification" was my suggested name). Prefix the name with "2-" (this helps stop the steps getting out of order) and change to type "temperature". "Water to add" is changed to zero. OK to save. Open the next step ("Mash Out" was my suggested name). Prefix the name with "3-". OK to save.
GF Mash Profile v2.JPG
To use: Include mash profile in a Beersmith recipe as before. On "brew day" record ambient temperature in the recipe's "Grain Temp" (mash page) and in the "Strike" step's "Name". Again on the mash page record the calculated strike temperature as "Tun Temperature" and overwrite "Grain Temperature" with it, and set it as the "Strike" step's "Step Temperature". It might need repeating as the strike temperature will squirm a bit, depends how fussy you are chasing fractions of a degree! The "Grain Temp" is written twice, initially to calculate strike temperature, subsequently to hold onto the strike temperature (so it doesn't calculate again). Strike temperatures will still change if global "grain absorption" is changed again (as it appears in "add nL of water at T C"), but the strike temperature used at that time is still recorded unchanged in several places. Perhaps "grain absorption" in Beersmith will be moved out of "global settings" in the future and these steps become obsoleted?

Export the finished recipe as a "BeerXML File (*.xml)" and import into the Grainfather site (as in the linked articles). Bring this up on your phone's Grainfather app and get brewing.

Note, the Grainfather's alarm sounds once strike temperature is reached, where upon the mash is mixed and the Grainfather's "set" button pressed to continue: The Grainfather will immediately start heating (as well as recirculating) towards strike temperature for one minute. That seems to be the way it has to be, but don't worry (what am I saying, it scares he hell out of me!) it won't get far in 1 minute after which the set temperature displays mash heat and the element switches off (if it needs to). (EDIT: In reality it takes more than a minute before the temperature sensor, located in the "deadspace" and still bathed in water at strike temperature, registers the lower "post-strike" temperature, so you never get to see any over heating due to that additional minute).

In Beersmith the "grain temp" now displays the strike temperature instead but that's a small price to pay for the gains.
Beersmith New Recipe  - Mash v2.JPG
Last edited by PeeBee on Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Creating Recipes in Beersmith for the Grainfather

Post by PeeBee » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:05 pm

The previous post has been incorporated into the original documents (linked in the OP).

Unlike my first thread on this subject which attracted loads of criticism, this thread attracted … well no comment at all. I guess the format (linked files) didn't lend itself to "normal" forum discussion, or the posted documents had grown too big for casual reading, or I've got it so perfect this time around no-one questions or criticises it? I'll go with the latter. Cheers!

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Anomolies?

Post by PeeBee » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:50 pm

I was discussing inconsistent "water/grain ratio" calculations in Beersmith with the Beersmith support crew. Seems there is some disagreement how it should be calculated so don't expect a fix anytime soon! But as this ratio only appears in a very "optional" part of the article (where full-boil mashes are being performed) it's not a significant problem.

Another problem was mentioned:
PeeBee wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:07 pm
... Prefix the name with "2-" (this helps stop the steps getting out of order) ...
Seems this problem (mash steps getting out of order in Beersmith) is something not everyone experiences (I do!). So prefixing the name with a number may not be necessary for most users.

Finally, my work around for supporting and automating "strike temperature" with Grainfather Connect caused utter confusion amongst the Beersmith support crew (who accidentally got to see it). So if this section is causing you confusion, just skip past it; it is marked as "optional" and has no bearing on the rest of the article.


I was using these procedures the other day when the Grainfather alarm went off and caused me considerable panic. It is easy to forget that the Grainfather likes to prompt you to start heating the sparging water - hopefully you remember that!

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Re: Anomolies?

Post by PeeBee » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:11 am

PeeBee wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:50 pm
… Seems this problem (mash steps getting out of order in Beersmith) is something not everyone experiences (I do!). So prefixing the name with a number may not be necessary for most users. …
This turns out to be a (long standing) problem in Beersmith. The program assumes mash steps always increase in temperature, so every time it opens it will rearrange them that way. Irritating, but the steps are easily reordered and the mash procedures still work.

I've edited the original documents to reflect this. Here's hoping it will change :(

(EDIT: Brad says it is now on the list of changes for the next release. Thanks Brad!)

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Re: Strike Temperature

Post by Madbrewer » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:14 pm

[quote=PeeBee post_id=841261 time=1549814872 user_id=16274]
[i](EDIT 19/02/2019: This "modification" has now been edited into the original linked documents found in the OP).[/i]

A small modification...

This is very optional. I just like being tidy!

I wasn't happy that changing "global options" would alter the calculated strike temperature in all my past logged recipes too. I wasn't happy that if I wanted to use "strike temperature" with the Grainfather I'd have to do a bit of phaffing about (not much, but all the same...). I wasn't happy that having bought this great bit of kit (the Grainfather) I'd be steered towards not bothering with "strike temperature". I'll accept that with recirculating mash systems it doesn't make any difference (initially heating to mash temperature, not strike) but decades of home-brewing means I still want to use strike temperature (old dogs, new tricks, and all that). So I devised a work around with the profiles illustrated earlier.

[/quote]

Thanks so much for this post. I haven't mashed with my new GF yet but I wondered if I would have to faff about with BS first to accomplish this same thing. As it turns out you've done my hard work for me. Thank you.

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Re: Strike Temperature

Post by PeeBee » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:35 am

Madbrewer wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:14 pm
PeeBee wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:07 pm
(EDIT 19/02/2019: This "modification" has now been edited into the original linked documents found in the OP).

A small modification...

This is very optional. I just like being tidy!

I wasn't happy that changing "global options" would alter the calculated strike temperature in all my past logged recipes too. I wasn't happy that if I wanted to use "strike temperature" with the Grainfather I'd have to do a bit of phaffing about (not much, but all the same...). I wasn't happy that having bought this great bit of kit (the Grainfather) I'd be steered towards not bothering with "strike temperature". I'll accept that with recirculating mash systems it doesn't make any difference (initially heating to mash temperature, not strike) but decades of home-brewing means I still want to use strike temperature (old dogs, new tricks, and all that). So I devised a work around with the profiles illustrated earlier.
Thanks so much for this post. I haven't mashed with my new GF yet but I wondered if I would have to faff about with BS first to accomplish this same thing. As it turns out you've done my hard work for me. Thank you.
Thank you very much!

Just a warning concerning the Grainfather bit of those articles. Grainfather carried out a major upgrade of their software in June: As is the way with these "major upgrades" it all turned into a can or worms. I think I started updating the articles to comply, but had to stop because their software (especially "Connect") was so badly broken. And they've yet to get it working again! I've had to use the Grainfather "manually" for the last couple of months.

I wrote a third section which was all "normal" strength beer, but can't link it until GF fix their software. I'll "rationalise" the articles and check them over when GF sort out their foul up.

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Re: Strike Temperature

Post by Madbrewer » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:31 am

[quote=PeeBee post_id=844925 time=1564382156 user_id=16274]
[quote=Madbrewer post_id=844923 time=1564352063 user_id=21888]
[quote=PeeBee post_id=841261 time=1549814872 user_id=16274]
[i](EDIT 19/02/2019: This "modification" has now been edited into the original linked documents found in the OP).[/i]


Just a warning concerning the Grainfather bit of those articles. Grainfather carried out a major upgrade of their software in June: As is the way with these "major upgrades" it all turned into a can or worms. I think I started updating the articles to comply, but had to stop because their software (especially "Connect") was so badly broken. And they've yet to get it working again! I've had to use the Grainfather "manually" for the last couple of months.

I wrote a third section which was all "normal" strength beer, but can't link it until GF fix their software. I'll "rationalise" the articles and check them over when GF sort out their foul up.
[/quote]


So if I have understood - the imported recipe feature doesn't work anyway at present? ...
What a pity. Will let you know if I get different results.

thanks Phil

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Re: Creating Recipes in Beersmith for the Grainfather

Post by PeeBee » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:32 am

The import feature (XML files) actually does work. The Beersmith stuff does. But the Grainfather Connect stuff, that's a right mess …

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Re: Creating Recipes in Beersmith for the Grainfather

Post by PeeBee » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:15 pm

Grainfather Connect is now version 4.0.19. Hopefully it all works again? But it will be a while before I can check it over.

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